When you buy a registered goat, you don’t buy them to later cull them; you buy them with the hope of what you will get from your purchase. All those visions of the kids that will soon populate your farm, the milk and cheese you can make. Hey, who hasn’t wondered about making goat milk soap!
There are quite a few that also think about the meat aspect of their Kinders, understanding from the beginning that some will be meat goats. As many know, who have dreamed of their first Kinders, there can be quite an expense to getting your first herd or ‘starter kit’.
There is the actual cost of buying the goats, throw in the cost of importing them into your state (especially if you don’t have any in your state), finish that all off with whatever it costs you to actually get them home. Can some of us say ouch? But to most of us, actually having our Kinders is well worth the cost to get them. So having spent so much to get them and waiting ‘not’ so patiently for your first Kinder kids – the last thing you would think of is having to cull.
Honestly, for us it isn’t an easy decision to make, but it is an important one. Kinders are new to Montana. Yes, we’ve been here a while, actually for years, but the breed is still very new here. Boars and Kikos are all the rage here, so one of the worst things we could do as Kinder breeders is sell kids that will NOT help the Kinder breed become popular. There are also problems that can eventually happen because someone doesn’t cull an animal that they maybe should have.
Let’s talk about some problems that could happen, and honestly have happened because culls weren’t culled. We’ll also use our kid crop from this year to talk about culling and why some of us make that decision.
The doeling on the other hand is a cull as far as the KGBA breed standards, the doeling can’t be registered because of it. OK, so why not just sell the doeling without papers? Some breeders have. We could sell her as a pet with a guarantee that they won’t be breed. However, sooner or later the term ‘pet with a purpose’ would probably see the doeling bred. Now imagine a year or two down the road, when someone tries to register kids from that doeling. Without the papers from us, she can’t be registered. As a breeder would we be wrong to handle it that way? Not necessarily, however, how will benefit the Kinder breed? So than we have someone very angry a year or two from now not being able to register the her or her kids. Don’t think it wouldn’t happen, it honesty has happened. Now, think of the position the KGBA is in when presented with this scenario. Would you want to tell someone that they can’t register a goat without the paperwork from the original seller? So how are we handling our doeling and her sibling now that she has supernumerary? We will be culling her shortly, we just can’t afford to have her spade. Now, her sibling, the buckling…..there is no way to know if he has the gene or not. We can’t keep him for the length of time it would be required to see if he produces kids with supernumerary. We can’t risk selling him intact, because we don’t want to get a call a year down the road from a buyer asking why all their kids have extra teats!
When is dairy too dairy?
Here are pictures of two doelings from this year. Sisters in fact. One is a little dairy, but has some potential based on kids we have had in the past. Her dam is our widest doe from thurl to thurl, kidding triplets without any assistance other than photo opps!
Leyla has been bred twice. Both times giving us a single buckling. Her temperament is high strung, meaning she can get overly excitable over the littlest things. Both buckling were wethered. As a FF (first freshener) she never gave us over 5 cups of milk a day and within 3 months post kidding her milk dropped quickly. As a SF (second freshener) she’s producing what she should have as an FF. She is the type of doe that would have to be bred every year to maintain a milk supply. She is also our biggest eater, giving us less for far more than our other does do. But she has other issues besides production.
Now let’s talk about her udder. She has no rear attachments, her Medial Suspensory Ligament is not visible. There are no side attachments. The floor, or bottom of her udder, is level with her hocks, her knees. She has one teat much smaller than the other. You can visually see her udder swing like jelly as she stands there just simply grazing. Now add that to her low production and you can see why there is an issue. Her udder will not hold up to years of milking that we expect of our does, nor will she be able to ‘milk through’, milk over a long period of time. Because of all this, she is the first doe we will be culling due to her udder.
Her side attachments are perfect, width could be improved on. Her udder is up high and holding amazingly well for all she’s milking. Our thoughts? If her production stays high and consistent, her udder will last over her milking life and if the pocket doesn’t go away we really won’t mind one bit, but she is definitely worth keeping to see how she progresses. Again, we have chosen to keep one of her doelings. One other reason is that the buck we used to bred Davi isn’t a proven buck yet. This is the first year we have used him. He sired 5 doelings and 3 bucklings. The only way to see what he produces is to keep one doeling to breed. We will than see if he improves on Davi’s udder with her kids. All in all, Davi’s udder is far more a win and an improvement than not. Definitely not a reason to cull her. Her buckling has been wethered on the off chance that her pocket doesn’t improve with growth and rebreeding.
Temperaments’ or Tempers?
Tempers are something to avoid as well. Of course a new goat is going to upset the herd for a few weeks. Until they establish their place in the herd, there will be some disturbances and understandably so. But a goat that constantly causes problems, or is aggressive, they should be removed from the herd.
Wether or Not?
Regardless of why you choose to cull, or even not to cull, it is something every breeder should take seriously. Instead of ‘keeping the best’ and selling the rest, as breeders we should always try to sell the best. Sooner or later culling will come up and everyone will have to make hard choices, but making the decision to cull will only benefit our Kinder breed and make sure that they stay the amazing 'dual purpose' power house we all love.
So, can you or can’t you?